On October 11, 2023, U.S. Border Patrol agents assigned to the Imperial Beach Station were conducting line watch duties approximately 300 yards west of the San Ysidro Port of Entry on the north side of a levee that travels from Mexico into the United States at that location. While patrolling on the north side of the levee at approximately 5:15 a.m., an agent in a marked Border Patrol vehicle observed a group of undocumented migrants enter the United States through the Tijuana River channel.
The agent reported several undocumented migrants were observed running away from Government of Mexico officials as they entered the United States. The agent immediately advised other Border Patrol agents in the area that the large group of undocumented migrants was walking inside the river channel, toward the area where the International Border Fence on the north side of the levee ends. Additional agents arrived at the location at approximately 5:21 a.m. and encountered a large group of more than one hundred undocumented migrants. Agents initiated efforts to sort the group of undocumented migrants into smaller groups to facilitate processing.
At approximately 5:40 a.m., prior to processing the group of undocumented migrants, agents encountered an adult female undocumented migrant sitting on the ground. The woman, identified as a citizen of Guinea, was accompanied by her male cousin, also a citizen of Guinea. Agents reported the woman appeared winded, and agents inquired if she needed an ambulance. The woman advised agents she did not need medical assistance. Agents then asked the woman’s cousin if he felt the woman required medical assistance; the man replied she was tired from running and was scared, but she did not need medical assistance.
At approximately 5:43 a.m., agents returned to check on the woman and observed she was drinking water. The woman’s cousin advised agents she was doing better.
At approximately 5:45 a.m., agents again returned to check on the woman and observed she was laying on her back with her head on her cousin’s lap. The woman’s cousin advised an agent she was sleeping. The agent then attempted to wake the woman by calling out to her and utilized a flashlight to check her for a response to the light. The agent stated the woman’s eyes opened, and he observed that the woman had a blank stare, after which the woman’s eyes rolled back into her head. The agent immediately requested emergency medical services, via service radio, and checked for a pulse. The agent could not find a pulse, and responding agents performed chest compressions on the woman. Agents continued performing chest compressions on the woman and continuously checked for a pulse until EMS arrived.
At approximately 6:04 a.m., San Diego Fire-Rescue Department (SDFD) EMS arrived on scene and took over primary medical care of the woman. SDFD EMS personnel performed CPR on the woman for approximately two minutes and then utilized a Lund University Cardiopulmonary Assist System device to mechanically continue CPR efforts. Agents then assisted SDFD EMS by carrying the woman from the field to the ambulance, and SDFD EMS continued using the device after the woman was placed in the ambulance.
At approximately 6:17 a.m., SDFD EMS transported the woman to Scripps Mercy Hospital in Chula Vista. Hospital medical personnel subsequently informed U.S. Border Patrol management that the woman succumbed to her medical condition and was pronounced deceased at approximately 7:10 a.m.
This incident is under review by Customs and Border Protection’s Office of Professional Responsibility and the San Diego County Medical Examiner's Office. The Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General and the Guinea Consulate were also notified.